A beautiful new A380, which operates daily on the San Francisco to Frankfurt route. Its 3pm departure time provides a convenient connection to Air New Zealand's Auckland to San Francisco service or allows for a leisurely morning if you are having a stopover in San Francisco.
Price: This was a Lufthansa Group round-world ticket, so travel was on Air New Zealand to San Francisco, Lufthansa to Frankfurt, Austrian Airlines to Shanghai and then back on Air New Zealand to Auckland. A suite of very good airlines which are all part of the Star Alliance Network, so Air New Zealand Airpoints members will earn points on all of these flights. The fare was very good value for the journey and these are quality airlines.
My seat: Lufthansa have 2x2x2 configuration upstairs on the A380. I chose a seat with direct aisle access. With more than 70 seats in the Business Class cabin it still feels intimate, as the cabin is divided into smaller zones.
Flight time: Scheduled for 10 hours 30 minutes and in true German efficiency, the plane left San Francisco right on time and landed in Frankfurt 15 minutes early.
How full: The Business cabin was chocka with a mix of leisure and business customers. The lady next to me had been rebooked on Lufthansa into Frankfurt as she was unable to fly directly back to Brussels because of the terrorist activity at Brussels Airport.
The service: Wunderbar! Seriously this was among the best service ever I have enjoyed on any flight over many years of travelling. Well done Lufthansa. The crew were all immaculately groomed (yes, all of them) with friendly smiles throughout the flight, and they made this a very special experience. They were totally attentive and anticipated customer needs continually. They were very capable in switching between English and German to chat with the different customers on board and their English was perfect.
Food and drink: We were served a main meal after take-off with three appetiser choices, a salad course, three main choices and two dessert and cheese choices, plus fresh fruit for the health-conscious (pass!). It was beautifully presented and delicious.
Breakfast was served before arrival in Frankfurt.
A good selection of champagne and red and white wines were offered with the main meal and throughout the flight.
Entertainment: Decent-size TV screens and a great selection of entertainment on offer. Because the flight departed mid-afternoon, I watched a couple of movies.
Luggage: More allowance than I needed.
The toilets: Very clean and easily accessible throughout the flight.
The airport experience: San Francisco Airport was an easy experience. Lufthansa uses a Star Alliance partner lounge at San Francisco Airport, which was the only disappointing part of the whole experience.
Would I fly this again? Absolutely.